Students helping students.

dsc_0077Rice Elementary School received an early Christmas gift this year! Paul, a student at the Cooper Home, presented a bag full of adapted toys to Laura Humrichouse’s class of eager students. Paul is a gifted solderer and has adapted toys with on/off switches to operate
with the simple press of a button. This helps students understand cause and effect: by pushing a button, something fun will happen.dsc_0046

“I love soldering,” shares Paul enthusiastically. By removing the existing switches, he can solder the wires that operate the button on each toy. Paraprofessional Truman Solverud taught Paul how to adapt the toys after learning the process through his coursework at the University of Northern Colorado. “The first one I did took me two hours, Paul gets them done in fifteen minutes.”dsc_0035

Once Paul completes his program at the Cooper Home this semester, he plans to focus his time on his other business of turning soda bottles into mini fish bowls. Tropix Aquaponics combines Paul’s passion of caring for fish and soldering. He
is currently working on patenting his design.

dsc_0058“Cooper Home is a collaborative effort between students, parents and the community to assist students in moving toward natural supports within the community and the work site while fostering independence.” (

Stove Prairie since 1896.


DSC_0428Through the Rist Canyon, tucked away on County Road 27, there is an unassuming building that is the home of Stove Prairie Elementary School with a student population of 47. This sweet, well-kept school opened its doors in 1896, making it the oldest operating “one-room” school in Colorado.Stove Prairie 1

Stove Prairie is the embodiment of a small, Colorado mountain school with everything from combined grade level classrooms to “critter drills” on the playground (drills to keep students safe from whatever “critter” may wander over). Students are a part of a close knit community. They work and play well together. It feels like a well-organized, relaxed, large family.  For students, it is not strange to have PE, art class, lunch and assemblies in the same room.

Stove Prairie 2

Integrated Service staff for Stove Prairie consists of 2 dedicated professionals. Teacher Kristy Kemp and paraprofessional Sue McPhaul  are holding down the fort and students couldn’t be in better hands. “I love working in the mountain schools. I feel very fortunate to be doing this job,” says Kemp. These wonderful women have become as much a part of the community as those who live there.


“Kristy and Sue are dedicated to serving students with disabilities.  I have watched both go above and beyond to assure that a student was receiving exactly what they needed.  This is all accomplished with great enthusiasm!”  shares Poudre School District Integreated Services director, Sarah Belleau.


Poudre School District Integrated Services                                                                Director: Sarah Belleau                                                                                                2407 Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521

Rocky Mountain High School Geo-Dome

Congratulations Rocky Mountain High School ACE program on an amazing grand opening for your Geo-Dome.



Poudre School District Integrated Services                                                                Director: Sarah Belleau                                                                                                2407 Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521

Do you know ACE? You should!

As small children we dream of careers like cowboys, princesses or astronauts. The truth is that for most of us, becoming a princess is an unlikely profession. Instead of what we will become, our focus shifts to when we will enter the workforce. At Poudre School District, we want students to be the most prepared they can be whenever, the time comes. When a student is supported throughout school with special education services, life and job preparation are critical to post-education readiness. One way students can be prepare is through Poudre School District’s Alternative Cooperative Education program (ACE).

ACE is a nationwide program designed to foster job readiness skills, entrepreneurial skills and career awareness in and out of classroom settings. PSD students fulfill required credits in economics and/or personal financial literacy classes with class course work and on site entrepreneurial experience. Often students participate in internships in the community.

With passionate teachers and dedicated paraprofessionals, each ACE program has created unique entrepreneurial opportunities. Educators become equal parts job/life coach and cheerleader. Each of the four comprehensive high schools as well as Centennial High School participate in the ACE program through the support of PSD’s Integrated Services department. “ACE provides a lifelong pathway to graduation and employment for students with a disability and those considered at risk,” according to Career and Tech Education Coordinator, Kathy Hanson.

To learn more about each site’s ACE program, click the links below:

Poudre High School

Rocky Mountain High School

Fort Collins High School

Fossil Ridge High School

Centennial High School

Bacon Elementary taking to the streets.

Spending time outside of the classroom is a great way for students to practice soft skills. The time away allows students to interact with people in the community, by means of purposeful field trips. Through a Community Based Education Grant, Integrated Service teacher Jake Neufeld has mapped out a year full of trips to places like the grocery store, Target, Michaels and even bowling.

Poudre School District Integrated Services                                                                Director: Sarah Belleau                                                                                                2407 Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521